You cannot beat a cracking good read and you cannot beat Trisha Ashley to deliver such a read. This latest Christmas novel has everything in it to while away a Christmas Afternoon on the sofa with copious amounts of tea and christmas cake snuggled right under a blanket as you absorb yourself in the story.
When I read this novel again, that is what I want to be doing!
But what of the story I hear you ask…..
Tabby is convicted of a crime she did not commit and spends a Christmas in prison. It seems to be the ultimate betrayal for Tabby. She has no one, her boyfriend has dumped her, her mother is dead and her only friend is stuck in a controlling marriage which means she cannot visit as much as she wishes. Even her cat has been put in a shelter.
One prison visitor puts Tabby in touch with Mercy. And Mercy shows none, she is a Quaker with a passion for sewing machines, picking up waifs and strays and now trying to bring the families cracker making business back from the brink.
There is plenty for Tabby to become involved in when Mercy provides her with a roof over her head to make a new start and to find out who the real Tabby is and develop the creative side which has been suppressed by others.
Trouble is whilst Mercy has a tendency to see the good in everyone, no matter what they have done, her nephew, Randall can only see that Tabby must be out for everything she can get and at the cost possibly of his own plans and future.
It is not going to be simple to try and bring a failing cracker factory back to the snap it once had, but Trisha Ashley’s storytelling means we are swept away amongst the history of the place, the family that Tabby has suddenly become part of and the Quaker faith which binds a number of them together. Just as Quakers meet and there is a sense of stillness, there is a stillness quality about the book.
I loved the story, I was fascinated by what I learnt about the Quakers, I laughed not just at the Christmas Cracker jokes which headed a number of chapters but also what happens to some of the many characters within the book. Justice might not always happen in the way we envisage but when it does it brings a wry smile to the face.
One of Trisha Ashley’s best – a cracking good read!
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.
A Christmas Cracker is out now in all formats.
I know it is November and probably too early to be reading about Christmas stories but I needed something to lose myself in, and I did. Thank you to Trisha your storytelling is sublime.